Rite Aid to Celebrate Market-Wide Transformation of Stores in Buffalo
Rite Aid Chairman, President and CEO John Standley and Chief Operating Officer Ken Martindale to Mark Milestone in Wellness Store Program in Buffalo < P>
Buffalo, N.Y., May 8, 2013 - Rite Aid Corporation announced today that Buffalo, N.Y., is the first market in which a majority of stores have been converted to its well-received and highly-popular "wellness store" format. First introduced in 2011, the company's latest store format features an enhanced selection of wellness products and resources, advanced clinical pharmacy services and personalized customer product guidance provided by Rite Aid Wellness Ambassadors. Unique to Rite Aid, Wellness Ambassadors enhance the customer experience through service and serve as the bridge between the front end of the store and clinical care services provided by Rite Aid pharmacists.
Rite Aid Chairman, President and CEO John Standley along with Rite Aid Chief Operating Officer Ken Martindale and America's favorite fitness expert Denise Austin, will celebrate the conversion of nearly 100 Rite Aid stores in greater Buffalo and the surrounding area to the wellness store format with special promotional events today at 10 a.m. at the Rite Aid in Williamsville located at 5447 Main Street. They will also launch a summer-long series of wellness events at stores throughout the area.
"Our Buffalo 'Road to Wellness' began in 2009, when we selected it as one of four markets to pilot our wellness+ customer loyalty program," said Ken Martindale, who is also President of The Rite Aid Foundation. "As the leading drugstore chain in the greater Buffalo area, it's only fitting that we're here today celebrating another milestone in our company's history. Over the past two years, we've invested millions of dollars as we've remodeled our Rite Aid pharmacies across the region to help Buffalonians be well."
Later this month, select Rite Aid stores across Buffalo will host free Diabetes screenings, the first of several free wellness events happening this summer. June events include skin cancer screenings, followed by July and August events focused on senior wellness and heart health. Brochures will be available in every store with a full listing of events, times and locations.
Martindale added, "We know our customers across Buffalo trust and count on us as a partner in helping them live healthier, happier lives. Bringing our wellness store format to the market was a great first step and we'll continue to explore new ways to deliver on our mission of improving the health and wellness of our communities through engaging experiences that provide our customers with the best products, services and advice to achieve their individual wellness goals."
Further demonstrating the company's continued commitment to Buffalo, The Rite Aid Foundation will award grants to two local charities serving the health and well-being of children in the community. Cradle Beach, serving 1,100 disabled and disadvantaged children in the Buffalo area annually, will receive a $25,000 grant to expand its Project S.O.A.R. school-based and summer programming to third through fifth graders at Southside Elementary School next year. The Rite Aid Foundation will also award a $10,000 grant to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Western New York, who will use the grant to provide short and long-term housing to families with children being treated at Buffalo-area hospitals.
Originally introduced in 2011, Rite Aid's wellness store format provides products, resources, and information to help its customers and their families live healthier lives. Rite Aid has continuously modified and enhanced the design of more than 800 stores nationwide, with the latest iteration of the format being unveiled in October 2012.
With its remodel completed in February of this year, the Williamsville Rite Aid has a completely new look and feel. Customers of the store will find it easier to find what they are looking for, thanks to a more inviting layout and clear signage. There's also a direct path to the pharmacy counter, which has been cleared of merchandise and has an eye-catching design that embodies Rite Aid's dedication to wellness while encouraging conversations between Rite Aid pharmacists and patients. The store also features a relaxing, warm color palette that is accented by wood tones.
Other key characteristics of Rite Aid's wellness store format include expanded merchandise offerings centered around wellness including gluten-free and organic foods and Forever Fit, Rite Aid's exclusive line of at home fitness equipment created by Denise Austin; expanded clinical pharmacy services including a private consultation room next to the pharmacy counter for private conversations and immunizations; and Wellness Ambassadors, who work closely with Rite Aid pharmacists to provide customers with access to information over-the-counter medications, vitamins and supplements as well as Rite Aid programs and services.
Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE: RAD) is one of the nation's leading drugstore chains with more than 4,600 stores in 31 states and the District of Columbia and fiscal 2013 annual revenues of $25.4 billion. Information about Rite Aid, including corporate background and press releases, is available through the company's website at www.riteaid.com.
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